Mabuhay and welcome to my blog and culinary adventure!
I am a nurse by day and a home chef by night. I have dreamed of becoming a nurse as far back as I can remember. My cousins and I would role-play, and I would either pretend to give vaccinations and attend to wounds painted on with markers (yes, we were always out of band-aids). Sometimes we played with fruits by pretending to bake them in a toy oven. My first dream became a reality at the University of Arizona, becoming a Wildcat Nurse! My second dream has just started– it’s this blog of my cooking adventures as a home chef.
My interest in cooking came at an early age, as well. My Lolas (grandmothers) were a source of learning cooking skills and techniques–many afternoons of watching them at work in the kitchen, passing the knowledge from generations ago, often accompanied by their personal stories and anecdotes. I started learning about our family tradition through recipes and my cultural heritage from Luzon Island.
My earliest recollections were starting the basics of washing rice and preparing it. Every time I wash rice, I remember their voices coaxing me to dip my finger into the rice, feeling it run through my hand: “Look at the water and see how white it is like milk, don’t throw it away. We will save the washing to make soup.” Cupping a the creamy fluid in her hands, she whiffed it across my nose, smell…” The floral and sweet fragrant scent of rice smells like no other. Through them, and my Mom, I learned the art of picking–poke, press, and pinch to test ingredients-- these are necessary skills! It is not uncommon for me to go into three different stores to see just the right ingredient I know will do justice to the meal I plan to nourish friends, family, and myself.
Foremost, it at the kitchen–I learned the most important of all–how to be myself and create an environment to be safe–to laugh, cry, and love. It was at my grandmothers’ table, my Mom’s table, and now at my table that we’ve chatted and confided our stories of recipes and life. They took the forms of meals and desserts, all lovingly and faithfully made, learning tastes, adjusting flavors, and entrust to the next taster–bonding at their table. It is through this blog that I would like to pass on what I have learned, and in turn, open my culture and our food in the spirit of openness and diversity.
Cooking these recipes helps preserve the memories of my life. This resurrection brings my grandmothers to life, and in turn, celebrates the meaning they have imparted to me. Through this adventure, I re-live the memories from my childhood and delve deeper into my heritage. As an avid reader of the Food Section of the New York Times, I recreate 5-star recipes, take on classic and timeless recipes from around the world and chefs, and recipes given to me by friends. I will add my own experience through postscript cooking notes with each of these dishes, imparting the knowledge to enhance the taste or celebrate it just as it is.
As a nurse, I will delve into sharing my knowledge to enhance the information necessary to engage and provide a resource to the healing quality of ingredients and food, for nutrition is also a form of medical therapy.
There’s a galaxy of taste out there–I hope my blog can help discover a fraction of them, through exploring memories, travels, and cultures.
To the Pursuit of Culinary Adventures,